How do you place or win a bet on a horse? Do you understand how to make a Forecast bet? Our OKBet horse racing betting guide covers everything you need to know, from the most exotic bets to the fundamentals.
Horse racing is one of the most popular sports for which people bet. The thrill of picking the winner and returning a profit adds to the excitement of the race to the winning post.
Whether you want to back a Belmont Stakes winner or think you can predict the first three past the post in the Ascot Gold Cup, our quick guide will teach you everything you need to know to bet on horse racing at OKbet.
Examine the OKBet Betting odds
OKBet Betting odds are used to calculate the likelihood of a specific outcome in a sporting event. The odds quoted in any sporting event determine the likelihood of a specific outcome occurring. Betting odds also allow bettors to calculate the expected return on their stake if the predicted outcome occurs.
Here are some key terms to remember before you start betting.
- The stake is the amount you decide to put on your bet.
- Odds are the ‘price’ at which you agree to stake your bet.
- Payout – this indicates the expected return on your bet if you win.
Probability expresses the likelihood of an event occurring. Betting odds are intended to accomplish the same thing.
The odds represent the likelihood or chance of each event occurring. An outcome with short odds is considered very likely to occur, whereas those with longer odds are considered less likely to occur.
Of course, it is important to note that, while probability in mathematics can be calculated scientifically, horse racing is a completely different animal.
The reason we enjoy betting on sports is that the outcomes are not determined by formulae, and the unpredictable nature of sports means that even if you back something at long odds, it can still happen even if the odds suggest it is unlikely.
Similarly, betting on something with a low chance of success does not guarantee it will come true. This is the allure, mystery, and allure of sports betting.
Horse racing bet types
There are numerous ways to bet on horse racing, ranging from a simple win bet to each-way and exotic bets. Here is a sampling of the available options.
Backing to win means that your bet will only be successful if the horse wins the race. For example, if you bet £10 on a horse to win at 4.000 and it wins, you will receive $50 – your $10 stake plus $40 in winnings.
Backing each-way essentially combines two bets into one, one on the horse to win and one on the horse to be ‘placed.’ Depending on the number of runners in the race, being placed can result in the horse finishing second, third, or fourth. There are sometimes six places in a race, such as the Grand National.
When you place a bet, you will see the each-way terms on the racecard, which will show the number of places as well as the percentage of the odds paid on a place, such as a quarter of the odds on the first four horses.
A $10 each-way bet costs $20 if you back a horse at 20.000. If the horse wins, you will receive $270: $200 for the win, $50 for the place (a quarter of the odds), and your initial $20 stake.
If the horse finishes second, third, or fourth (in this example), you will receive $60, which includes your $10 place bet as well as $50 on a quarter of the odds.
In horse racing, you can also bet ‘place only.’ In this case, you will be given fixed odds on each selection finishing in the top three (or four or more depending on field size). If you back a horse to finish first, second, or third, your bet wins and is settled at the odds you chose, regardless of the finishing position.
Exotics are bets on horse races that involve multiple horses. Forecasts and Tricasts are two of the most popular types of exotic bets.
With a Forecast bet (also known as an Exacta), you’ll be attempting to predict the first two finishers in a race. For example, if you bet on a 2-4 Forecast, you will win if horse No. 2 wins and horse No. 4 comes in second. This bet can also be placed as a Reverse Forecast, in which you win if your selections are first and second in any order – but keep in mind that a Reverse Forecast bet doubles your stake, so a $5 Reverse Forecast costs $10 because you are essentially backing both outcomes (in this example, the 2-4 result and the 4-2 result).
With the Tricast (also known as a Trifecta), you predict the horses that will finish first, second, and third in the correct order in a race.
All horse racing bets at OKBet betting partners are offered with Fixed Odds, which means that the price you place your bet at is the price you are paid out at if it wins.
Ante-post betting refers to wagers placed on horse races scheduled to take place in the future (ante-post usually refers to anything more than 48 hours before the raceday).
In general, ante-post bettors are hoping to get better prices than they would on raceday.
OKBet Ante-post betting is generally available on major races throughout the year, such as the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National in jumps racing, and the Classics in flat racing, such as the 1000 Guineas, 2000 Guineas, Derby, and Oaks.
Ante-post betting will be available on a regular basis in the run-up to major festivals such as Royal Ascot and Glorious Goodwood.
While ante-post bets may offer better odds, bettors must also consider the higher risk involved because ante-post bets are non-refundable, even if the selection does not run in the selected race.
Strategy for Horse Racing Betting at OKBet
As with any sport, the successful bettor will have a plan in place for how to best invest their money/time. Before placing a bet, everyone from casual fans to professional bettors should have an idea of what information they want to digest.
When it comes to making those calls in the digital age, more information than ever before is available at the click of a button. Here’s a rundown of some topics that might help you make a decision before betting on horse racing at OKBet sports betting.
Can historical data help you make better bets?
It certainly can and, where possible, should. Analyzing historical data can mean looking at the past performance of the horse you want to back, but it can also mean looking at information for young horses who haven’t raced much. This will include breeding and pedigree information, which will detail what type of ground conditions or race length a horse is likely to excel at.
Of course, the most important historical data will be each horse’s past performances once we can judge them on their own merits. In today’s racing world, there is a wealth of information and statistics on past performance that can be used to make an informed betting decision.
Is it important what the ground is made of in OKBet Horse Race Betting?
Every race has a description of the ground conditions. Turf conditions range from heavy/soft to firm/fast, and it’s also important to consider the various types of artificial surfaces (e.g. Tapeta, Polytrack) that horses can run on, as some horses perform better on one than another.
Some horses excel at running on heavy/soft ground, while others excel at running on firm/fast ground. If a horse has never run on extreme ground (for example, heavy), this can introduce an unknown factor.
Some horses are adaptable and will perform well on any surface, but the majority will perform best on their preferred surface.
In horse racing, how do you read the form?
The ‘form’ is a guide to previous performance and is typically represented by a series of numbers next to each horse indicating previous finishing positions (4, 3, 1, 2 etc. or a 0 for an unplaced run).
If they do not finish the race, a letter (U-unseated, F-fell, P-pulled-up) will appear, while a (-) indicates a change from one season to another. A brief comment, usually detailing recent/best performances and assessing their chances in the upcoming race, is also included in the form guide.
Do you need to know who the best trainers/stables are in order to be successful?
The more data you have, the better. Clearly, the most successful trainers are those who win the most often. Trainers can also excel at a specific course or courses, which is worth investigating.
Recent form is also important, as many punters like to know that a stable is ‘in-form,’ that is, that they have recently won. They go through dry spells from time to time, which can be discouraging.
What role does the jockey play in the horse’s chances of winning?
Once again, the best jockeys have the most success. When a jockey they like is riding a horse, punters often take comfort. Having an elite jockey on board is frequently beneficial to the horse’s chances of winning.
However, an inexperienced rider can sometimes boost a horse’s hopes by allowing them to ‘claim’ weight from the horse during their apprenticeships. This is also useful and is indicated on the racecard.
What role does bankroll management play in horse racing betting?
Discipline is essential for success in sports betting at OKBet, and this is especially true when betting on horse racing. Maintain a level of staking that is comfortable for you.
Don’t raise your stakes to chase losses, and don’t raise your stakes just because your selection is the favorite to win. Being able to maintain your discipline is essential for successful betting.
Is it worthwhile to back long shots or horses with high odds?
Longshots win races on a regular basis. Over time, the favorite will win once every three races on average. 100/1 chances do not win very often, but when they do, they are clearly very rewarding.
If you read the form and believe a horse has a chance in a race, don’t let the odds sway your opinion – stick to your convictions, and if you are a good judge, they should be rewarded in the long run.
What are the most commonly used horse racing terms and phrases?
Allowance: A reduction in the amount of weight that a horse must carry. This could be due to the horse’s age, gender, or the type of jockey (amateur).
Blinkers: A type of horse headgear that limits the horse’s field of vision, primarily from each side. Blinkers are used to help horses focus during races.
Bridle: A piece of tack that fits over a horse’s head and is attached to the bit and reins.
Cheekpieces: A type of headgear that consists of sheepskin pieces placed on either side of the bridle and works similarly to blinkers in aiding the horse’s concentration.
Claimer: A jockey who takes weight off a horse to compensate for their lack of riding experience. Their claim is reduced as the number of winners increases.
Connections: A term used to describe the owners and trainers of a horse.
When the raceday judge is unable to separate two or more horses at the finish line, the prize is split between the horses and a dead heat is declared.
In horse racing, a furlong is an imperial unit of distance measurement. A furlong is an eighth of a mile, or about 201 meters.
Going: The racetrack’s underfoot conditions.
Hood: A type of headgear worn by a horse to cover its ears and muffle the noise of the crowd on race day.
Length: The length of a horse from the tip of its nose to the beginning of its tail, as well as a measurement used to describe the distances between horses at the finish line.
NAP: A bet regarded as the most likely winner of all bets placed during the day.
Off the bridle: A term used to describe a horse that is not moving well in a race.
On the bridle: A term used to describe a horse that is performing well in a race.
Pulling: A horse that is excited during a race and wishes to go faster than its jockey allows.
Staying on: A phrase used frequently by race commentators or in post-race comments to describe a horse who finished strongly in the final stages.
A whip is an instrument used by jockeys to help control and encourage horses.
Have you spotted a potential winner? Sign up to OKbet Betting Partners and bet with our incredible horse racing odds to get stuck into that form guide and place your best bets.